When you are considering a document management solution one of your primary concerns should be file security. We all know that paper files are far from secure. Consider the following examples:
- A Massachusetts hospital admitted that personal data for 800,000 people was missing after paper documents turned up unshredded in a public dump.
- The first penalties for failure to comply with HIPAA totaled $5.3 million against two hospitals for improper management of their paper records.
- A Florida bank agreed to pay $850,000 to the state and $125,000 to charity after an employee stole paper records containing bank account, credit card, and personal information for 8.5 million customers.
- In New York City, police records containing details about the deployment of its weapons of mass destruction task force were found in a public trash can.
Eliminating the paper using a document management solution would have prevented these security breaches. Here are six security considerations to think about when shopping for a document management solution:
- Controlled document distribution – Storing digitized documents makes it easy to share and more importantly control access to information. Unlike paper documents, you can regulate who can access the files. While electronic documents can be shared more easily via email or web, you can protect sensitive information by authenticating users who have access to make sure that only authorized executives can share those documents. If you are worried about losing control of sensitive data and having unauthorized documents in circulation, you can adopt a digital rights management technology to limit who can read distributed files.
- Secure file access – You can use password protection and other means to control access at the document or folder level. Using a document management solution, you can grant access rights by individual or at a group level, just as you would share the key to a paper file cabinet. And you can create an audit trail to track who has accessed files, including who might have changed it, downloading it, or distributing it.
- No misplaced documents – Eliminating paper means you can’t lose paper files. Employees can spend hours trying to track down misplaced or lost paperwork, and even sensitive paperwork can be left in the wrong place for anyone to find. With a secure document management solution everything is cataloged and stored electronically for easy retrieval. Document management systems can find files using keywords or phrases, or categorization, or even text search. Make sure that whatever document management system you adopt use can support various forms of search and retrieval.
- Regulatory compliance – If you are audited for whatever reason you need to be able to find all the appropriate paperwork quickly. Using document management makes it easy to catalog and retrieve everything you might need in the event of an audit. For highly regulated industries such as health care or accounting, e-Discovery can be integrated directly with your document management solution to make sure you can comply with government regulations.
- Disaster recovery – Using a central document management solution simplifies disaster recovery. Where paper records could be lost in a flood or fire, digital documents can be safely archived for easy retrieval, especially if the document management solution stores files off-site or in the cloud.
- Digital archiving of rare paper documents – When you have important or historically significant documents that need to be archived in their paper form, a document management system allows you to create electronic duplicates that can be stored and managed electronically. This makes it easier to access fragile or rare paper documents without actually handling the original.
These are just a few of the ways that document management can secure business-critical documents. What’s the biggest security concern for your customers? Is there one outstanding security headache that can be addressed with a document management solution? We’d like to know.